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Thursday, 29 May 2014

There Are Seeds And They Are Trying

Water is wonderful thing.  It sparkles and shines.  It feels cool and fresh.  It pours and splashes in endless ways.

It won't come as a surprise, then, that watering the new grass has become a highlight of Miss S's day.  She practically dances around me to wet her hands (or more) in the glittering spray from the hose.  It's marvelous fun for her, but I have to confess that there are few aspects of this twice daily routine that I could pass on.

For starters, I have to strip her down to her birthday suit at the font door and find dry clothes twice a day.  The bigger challenge, however, is keeping that excited little girl off the new grass.

We have a lovely story book out from the library this week that sums the situation up beautifully.

. . . or maybe it was the bears and all that stomping, because bears can't read signs that say things like "please do not stomp here -- there are seeds and they are trying."
Bears.   Toddlers.  Neither can read signs.

We're still waiting and watering.  Looking for those first green shoots.

. . . and the brown, still brown, has a greenish hum that you can only hear if you put your ear to the ground and close your eyes

That book, in case you're wondering is called And Then It's Spring by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Erin E. Stead.

Monday, 26 May 2014


We've been doing a little landscaping this spring -- a little re-landscaping actually.  It's not the kind of project that thrills gardeners, but believe me, it's necessary.  We're turning garden beds into grass.  Just a few.  It  has something to do with a little girl who likes to run in the grass and her mother who would rather join in than pull weeds.  Priorities shift.

Deciding which garden to plow under took a little thought.  I found myself wandering around the yard, noticing my emotional responses to the different plantings.  The veggie beds fill me with pride.  The raspberry canes made my mouth water.  The hostas on the shady side of the patio have grown to the sound of ice clinking in iced tea glasses and the chatter of many gatherings.

I stopped at the peonies.  The peonies that bloom deep and dark and lighten to pink.  The peonies that survived an ill-timed dividing off from my mother-in-law's plant and several ill-timed moves around the garden.  They're flourishing now, in the part shade of the apple tree, reminding me every spring of a baby shower two years ago.

The hostesses went to great trouble over that one.  Food.  Decorations.  It was lovely.  But I don't remember much.  I walked in, an overwhelmed four-day-mother, and the room was filled with peonies.

Memory is a funny thing.  Has anything triggered yours lately?

Wednesday, 21 May 2014


Warm weather has arrived sooner than expected.  I'm not sure if that has more to do with an early summer or conservative expectations.  Either way, I can feel the tingle of the sun all the way down to my toes.  Happy days.  

Busy days too -- in the very best ways.  Being outside is a pleasure when the sun is warm and the wind cool.  So are long walks to distant playgrounds and lunches on the grass.  Somehow the essential work is getting done.  Laundry.  Supper.  But I try not to fuss too much.

Just for a moment, I'm living in the moment, wondering which is growing faster, my garden or my daughter.  Both are pure joy to watch.

Friday, 16 May 2014

This Moment

First trip to McDonalds.  For reasons unknown, this is what I wanted to do for Mother's Day.  Her favorite parts of the Happy Meal:  orange juice and dipping.  The rest didn't leave much of an impression, for which I'm grateful.

Joining SouleMama and others in a Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your moment in the comments for all to find and see.

Friday, 9 May 2014


I expected to feature bright spring colour for Donna's current photo challenge.  My garden is full of bold reds and blues just now, not to mention that spring-fresh hue of green.  But an anniversary get-away drew me into the smoother, softer tones of the sea.

Standing on the beach, I thought of these two vistas as monochromatic.  It wasn't until I increased the contrast a little (as I do with most of my photos) that I really saw the depth of blue in sky and water.  Inspired (intrigued?) I bumped up the saturation the tiniest little bit.

This was the view from our private hot tub.  We watched the blue blue blue of sea and sky and missed a certain little girl with blue eyes, who kept her Nana and Grandpa very busy.

This picture is a couple of months old, but I love the colours.  Red.  Pink.  Blue.  All very saturated.  I used a vignette tool in Picasa to darken the edges of the photo a little and draw greater attention to Miss S's face.

Linking to Donna's Personal Photo Challenge.  To be perfectly honest, I'm scrambling a little to get this up today.  My mind has been full of other things this week, but it's been fun to browse through my pictures and think of colour.  I'm looking forward to visiting your colour too.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

A Walk on the Beach

A fight to the death.  Seagull and crab.  G and I delay our progress down the beach to watch.  We're interested, curious, but not emotionally involved, and certainly not naive enough to root for the underdog.  

It's a good thing too, because when the gull has flown our inspection of the scene turns up nothing but scattered legs and a fragment of exoskeleton.  Not every walk on the beach yields such epic entertainment, such hard evidence that life is not all sparkling sun and lapping waves.  Nature -- and life -- has a dark side.

I feel the fundamental tensions these days.  Light and dark.  Celebration and sorrow.  Life and death.  Young green shoots stretch for the sun.  Spent tulips discolour, crumple.  The neighbours have a new baby.  Cancer has interrupted.  Too soon.  More cancer.

In case you're wondering or worrying, I'm celebrating right now.  An anniversary.  A birthday.  The richness and deepness of my life.  But when someone celebrates, someone else is grieving.  Tension.

Friday, 2 May 2014

This Moment

Summer arrived this week.  It's just a short visit.  She dropped by unexpectedly so we fired up the grill and treated ourselves to the first patio supper of the year.  Warm breeze.  Juicy steak.  A long lingering meal in the fresh air.  She'll come and go a few times yet before settling down to stay.

Joining SouleMama and others in a Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your moment in the comments for all to find and see.